It’s Mental Health Awareness week and this is a major factor that has featured in my own personal Confident Mum Project.
Having been in a dark place for a number of years as a new mum, I sat down and thought about all the things I’ve STOPPED doing that have made a difference in my mental and emotional well-being.
So here is my list of 27 Things Mums Should Stop Doing to Themselves.
1. Stop Comparing Yourself to Other Mums
When we were in the beginning stages of getting a diagnosis of autism for our daughter I remember I would compare our life to other families. My life to other mums. Not deliberately – I think it’s just what we do as humans! Over the years though, every word she spoke, developmental milestone that she hit like drinking from a cup, or toilet training was a major win – I was so focused on that, I forgot about everyone else. I find this is now the best way to approach my own development. I try to compare myself only to where I was yesterday and where I am today, because nobody is having the exact same journey as me, just like nobody will have the same journey as my kids
2. Stop Looking at ‘That’ Person on Social Media
We all torture ourselves like this sometimes, but if you spend longer on social media than you do on improving yourself and working on your own situation, you’ll never get any happier. Social media has a lot of positives and inspiring stories to offer but if you come off Facebook or Instagram feeling worse about your life, or jealous, you need to spend your time elsewhere.
3. Stop looking at all the reasons you CAN’T do something
Childcare, pick ups, bed times etc – all the many responsibilities that come with being a mum! In addition, all completely valid reasons for not being able to do something….sometimes. Ask yourself is it really a reason or are you using it as an excuse? Instead of focusing on what you can’t do, look at what you CAN do….You may not be able to take over the world right now, but you CAN hone your habits, knowledge and skills in preparation.
4. Stop saying you’re fine when you’re not fine.
It can feel liberating to say ‘I’m not ok and I need some help today’ instead of sitting there festering. Your partner / mum / friend or whoever can’t magically read your mind and recognise that you’re drowning and need help! Empower yourself to succeed – be the boss of your life and tell people what you need in no uncertain terms. If they refuse to help you, at least you know not to waste too much time and energy on that person in the future! The good ones will stop, listen and try to help where they can. Even if it’s just a shoulder to cry on.
5. Stop Looking to Wine or Gin as a Way to Escape
I’ve been here. You know it’s only making the problem worse. If you need to deal with an issue that’s making you sad, lonely, depressed, dissatisfied or unfulfilled, put the bottle down, look it square in the eye and face it. Find another way.
6. Stop Saying ‘One day, I will….’
And start dong doing something about it. Is there any other time but the present moment? There may be obstacles in your way, but who ever wanted to walk a flat mountain?? The joy comes from the challenge. Own the challenge, and begin your life’s work today.
7. Stop Making Promises to Yourself You Can’t Keep
Stop wasting time and energy on ridiculous promises to yourself that you find impossible to keep. Stop saying ‘I’ll lose 40lb – start saying, day by day, I’m going to get fitter, more energetic, leaner and healthier.
8. Stop Hanging Around With People Who Make You Feel Zapped
You know those energy hoovers? The sort of people who have to have a story worse than yours, or who seem to have a drama every, single day. Or the people who pretend to live picture perfect lives…? People who make you feel like you need to justify everything you say and do. These people drain all your energy so you have none left for yourself. If you want to change your life, there’s one thing you need. Energy. Be careful where you put it.
9. Choosing the Company You keep Out of Habit, rather than Choice
“You’re the average of the five people spend the most time with” said motivational speaker Jim Rohn. Who are you surrounding yourself with? People who will push you, challenge you and lift you up? Or people who want you to stay exactly where you are so they don’t have to raise their game.
10. Stop Putting Yourself at the Bottom of the To Do List.
If mummy ain’t fulfilled and happy, nobody is fulfilled and happy. Don’t mistake doing everything for everyone else all the time as LOVE. Yes you have responsibilities and chores and bills to pay, but you also have a life that needs living. Let life fill you up – not picking up other people’s undies… 🙂
11. Stop Trying to be Someone Else
There will always be others we admire and aspire to, but do you know what these role models all have in common? They’re unapologetically, 100% authentically themselves. Become so good at being you, that people can’t look away.
12. Stop Fearing Failure
You will not be perfect at anything, ever, all the time. So just get over that now. Nobody ever learned anything by being successful first time round. The greatest successes are always the most interesting stories that feature many failures.
13. Stop Using the Scales
Scales make women cry. Don’t let them determine WHO you are. You can start being THAT person today no matter how much you weigh.
14. Stop Playing the Victim
Do you want to be remembered in your life as that woman who always had a drama, or that woman who overcame so many challenges that she inspired those around her to step up?
15. Stop with the Daytime TV
Unless you’re watching something that fills your soul, educates you or brings you joy, don’t complain that you don’t’ have enough time to workout / spend quality time with your kids or partner / do a course / start a new career / make new friends when you find the time to watch Love Island every single day… and then talk about it on WhatsApp for 2 hours.
Get busy changing your life…not let life pass you by whilst you watch others transform theirs.
16. Stop Saying ‘I’ll Start When….’
Got big plans?! Big goals? Waiting until….? I’ve know people say they want to lose a dress size, but rather than start now, they’ll have a weekend binge eating easter eggs and drinking red wine and THEN start on Monday…. Rethink your strategy…..I reckon there’s something you can do now to move you closer to your goal. Read more on Overcoming Procrastination and how to Stop Waiting Until Monday here.
17. Stop Complaining at the School Gates
Unless you’re building relationships, making new friends, expanding your horizons, stop wasting time every single day gossiping and complaining at the school gates. Have a plan for your day – have a focus to your time!
Chit chat about nothing is LOVELY now and again, but if you find yourself returning home at 10.30 EVERY day after the daily chinwag, and you’re still complaining to your husband that you’ll never fit in a bikini in 3 months time, you may want to re-prioritise.
18. Stop Hating.
Jealous of someone else? Use jealousy or envy to work out what it is about their life that you wish you had, then start making steps to get more joy in your life. Let jealousy work for you – not against you…
19. Stop Letting Haters get to You
Over the past few years some people have said outrageous things to me. You know those people who don’t want you to succeed (because it will make them feel bad about their life??!!) They knew they were hating on me, and so did I. I didn’t stand up for myself, and they left feeling smug that they got under my skin. The more I speak my truth and become more authentically me, the more the comments go over my head. BE YOU and let the haters hate.
20. Stop Assuming it’s Only You
Bored, lonely, depressed, low, isolated, unfulfilled, confused, lacking in direction / motivation / energy? It’s not just you. Trust me. We all go through it. There are so many others out there who have found there way in to the light again. You will too.
21. Stop Holding Grudges
Three words. Waste of energy.
22. Stop Trying to Justify Yourself to Others
At the end of the day, the only person who knows the truth is you. So don’t’ bother wasting energy on anyone else trying to explain your choices.
23. Stop Trying to be Perfect, or not Trying at all.
Life is about progress, not perfection. Don’t use ‘I can’t be perfect’ as an excuse not to try in the first place.
24. Stop Blaming Others
The kids, your other half, your parents, friends…… You have the power. Use it.
25. Stop Trying to Protect Your Kids from EVERY Negative emotion.
You can’t. The day I realised this, it empowered me. I realised I couldn’t actually control everything in their little worlds but I COULD learn as many tools as I could to help them to cope with the crap life will throw at them at some point. DO give them the skills to process emotion when they feel it and work through it. Start by learning how to do this yourself if you struggle with negative self talk.
26. Stop Feeling Guilty for Doing anything for yourself
You can’t treat your kids to respect themselves, when you don’t respect yourself enough to give yourself the things that are important to you.
27. Stop Focusing on What you Don’t Have and Can’t Do
Instead focus on all the wonderful things you have in your life and the 24 hours in every day that you have to change things. Start a gratitude journal and each night write 3 things you loved about your day, and 3 things you are grateful for about YOURSELF – whether it’s looks, personality, talents, skills, tenacity….anything. But it must be about you.
So are you ready? Ready to STOP the self-sabotage?
Let me know in the comments below if this resonated with you? What are your biggest challenges / bad habits you wish you could stop?